Schools fight spread of with hygiene rules

SHARE
This is the way . St Mary's School pupils (from left) Sadie Brandish, Isla Templeton and James Malloy (all 5) practise washing their hands for 20 seconds, which is one of the ways the Ministry of Health recommends people can help prevent the spread of Covid-19.PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

It is important a consistent message is shared in schools and preschools regarding Covid-19, school leaders say.

Eastern Southland Community of Learning lead principal Annie Nelson said while the Ministry of Education was updating schools daily on new measures being implemented regarding the virus, the basic message was the same.

“There is a consistent message of washing hands for 20 seconds and drying hands,” Mrs Nelson said.

“Protecting others from germs if you sneeze or cough.

“Kids are reminded to do their best about not touching their face.”

It was an important time for members of the community of learning to work together, she said.

“A consistent message from our group of schools and preschools is essential.”

Most schools in the area would not be affected by the Government guideline to limit the size of gatherings to 500, she said.

People needed to stay calm and do whatever they usually did to protect themselves from viruses.

It was an act of nature that could not be prevented.

“You can’t put a face on a virus.

“There’s no-one to blame here.”

West Gore School principal Linda Fraser said apart from reinforcing the message of good hygiene to children there were no special measures being taken at the school.

“We are just business as usual …we will set up anything we are required to,” Mrs Fraser said.

“At the moment we are getting along with normal lessons.

“It’s day by day for everyone and things can change overnight.”

Coming events including a class camp were being assessed according to the risk to staff and pupils.

Gore High School rector John McKinlay said after sharing the basic hygiene message last week the staff were now preparing a strategy for what would happen if the school were to close.

“Teachers are working on how they would deliver lessons online,” Mr McKinlay said.

There was already an online platform in daily classroom use which could be extended to provide all classroom teaching.

Teachers could deliver lessons, set assignments and pupils could ask questions either publicly or privately.

The success of the strategy would depend on whether pupils had reliable access to the internet and a survey was being carried out at present to find that out.

“Early indications are that something like 95% of our kids would be able to access online through a computer at home.”

Many of the pupils used laptops at school.

Some school camps had been cancelled and other trips are being postponed.